Binance vs FTX – a ‘Game of Thrones’

on Nov 7, 2022
Updated: Nov 8, 2022
  • GlobalBlock analyst Marcus Sotiriou says Binance and FTX are in some sort of war of the exchanges.
  • Binance announced it would sell all its FTT, the native token of FTX, after reports raised concerns over FTX.
  • FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried noted a “rival” was trying to go after the exchange based on false rumours.

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Binance and FTX are among the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the crypto industry – that’s pretty much clear.

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And to borrow from the mythical Westeros in the HBO hit drama series ‘Game of Thrones’, there could be entertainment here as rivals slug it out.

However, Marcus Sotiriou, a crypto analyst at digital assets firm GlobalBlock says the entertainment aspect of a GoT episode aside, there’s serious concern from within the crypto community about recent reports about one of them.

Is Binance and FTX giving us a ‘GoT’ episode

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Competition between two of cryptocurrency’s largest exchanges is to be expected, and even somewhat encouraged as the community strives to get the best from each platform. However, the FTX and Binance rivalry has already seen the leading men at both companies come out guns blazing – amid claims and counterclaims.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have both commented on recent reports around FTX’s liquidity. Sotiriou said in a note:

“Whether or not FTX has enough reserves to weather the crypto winter is yet to be seen, but at this point, Binance is winning the exchange war.”

So what’s lead to this episode between the two top crypto exchanges?

Binance sells its FTT holdings, FTX says it’s based on ‘rumours’

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The short of it is that CoinDesk published a report on Thursday noting that FTX sister company Alameda Research’s books were pointing to possible balance sheet issues. And at the center of this is the FTX token FTT, issued by FTX exchange and which accounts for nearly a third of Alameda assets and 88% of the company’s net equity. 

Now, Alameda holds $5.8 billion in FTT- out of $14.6 billion in assets. The company’s liabilities amount to $8 billion. And despite Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison saying the company has more than $10 billion in assets that apparently was part of the reported balance sheet, concerns mounted over the weekend as Binance announced it would sell all of its FTT holdings.

Although the Binance chief did say later that his company’s decision to sell over $500 million worth of FTT in light of the reports wasn’t designed to hurt FTX, Bankman-Fried seemed convinced it was.

In a tweet on Monday, he averred that a competitor was trying to bring FTX down over false rumours.  Indeed, SBF said FTX was “fine” and would continue to be so. 

Amid all these, and as Invezz highlighted earlier today, uncertainty has crept in among investors and Sotiriou thinks the war of the exchanges might have already caused massive damage.

“A self-fulfilling prophecy could arise and has potentially already started. We have already seen FTX’s lending book drop by 50% from $2.5 billion to $1.25 billion, and the USDT book dropped 60% from $500 million to just over $200 million, in just the past 24 hours. Ethereum withdrawal from exchanges, and FTT tokens on exchanges, have both reached an all-time-high, showing a clear lack of certainty from investors.”


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